Let’s do a July 29 edition of the Avs Mailbag. Not a whole heck of a lot going on with the Avs right now, but we know you still have questions, so let’s get to some:
Dater, It is nearly August now. I’m worried (Nikita) Zadorov might go back to Russia to play in the KHL. We are right screwed without him. Tell me why I shouldn’t panic.
I know you’re not alone, but I’m here to tell you: Don’t panic. Stand down. I just seriously, seriously doubt Zadorov will bolt for the KHL. Could it still happen? I guess it could, yeah. But if I had to bet my entire life savings on it, along with the house, double or nothing, I’d take the bet.
I’m told the money difference isn’t all that huge between the two parties right now. I’m told Zadorov is looking for $2.75 million to $3 million per year on his next deal. I’m told the Avs are offering about $2 million. Do you think the Avs are really going to let the principal player they got back in the Ryan O’Reilly deal up, a young left-shot defenseman, and walk away for the difference of $750k-$1 mil? (Wait, these are the Avs. Can I change my b…)”
No, look, of course not. They can’t and won’t let that happen. The two sides are just getting down to their last, best offers/breaking points. I fully expect something like a two-year, $4.75 million to $5 million deal at some point fairly soon.
And if the Avs DO let Zadorov get away for NOTHING, over relative chump change? Then, yeah, I’d have to say everybody in management should get fired. I think they want to keep their jobs and not look like fools, so that’s why I still am quite confident a deal gets done.
I have enjoyed reading your articles over the years on the Avalanche.
I saw on Twitter recently that you were doing a poll on whether or not Claude Lemieux should be in the HHOF. Personally, I think he should be.
A friend and myself prepared a document on Claude’s career and submitted it to the HHOF Selection Committee this past March. I have attached it for you to read. Feel free to use some of the stuff we bring-up in an article if you want. I think we make a compelling case as to why Claude deserves to be in the HHOF.
The problem with the selection criteria to get into the HHOF is that is is highly biased towards the regular season and to offensive minded players. Neither of those biases work in Claude’s favor.
Anyways, have a read and, hopefully, you come to the same conclusion we did that Claude deserves to be in the HHOF.
Regular Season Highlights
Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM
1,215 379 407 786 1,777
Ranks 110th in all-time regular season goals
Ranks 167th in all-time regular season points
Ranks 103rd in all-time regular season games played
Played in 1987 Rendez-vous Series – NHL All-Stars vs Team Russia
People who question whether Claude deserves to be in the HHOF will argue that his regular season point
totals were not high enough. Compared to other players in the HHOF this does have some merit but there
are three important points to consider:
1. Throughout his career Claude played mostly on defensive minded teams. Claude was on three
William Jennings Trophy winning teams and his teams finished in the top half of the NHL in goals
against for 15 of his 17 seasons.
2. In Claude’s 17 seasons he only played three years in which the leading point getter on his team finished
in the top 10 of NHL regular season points (all in Colorado). This further proves the defensive nature
of the teams he played with in his career.
3. While playing on defense minded teams throughout his career, Claude led his team in scoring twice
and was in the top four in team scoring in seven seasons.
Winner of four Stanley Cups (1986, 1995, 1996 and 2000)
Only modern day player to win four Stanley Cups with three different teams
Since 1986 is tied with multiple players for the most Stanley Cups with four
Winner of the 1995 Conn Smythe Trophy
Runner-up for the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1986
Ranks 9th in all-time playoff goals leaders with 80. Of the top 19 all-time playoff goals leaders only two
players are not in the HHOF, Claude and Esa Tikkanen who is ranked 14th
Ranks 24th in all-time playoff points leaders with 158. Of the top 27 all-time playoff points leaders only two
players are not in the HHOF, Claude and Bobby Smith who is ranked 22nd (assumed Jaromir Jagr will be in the
Tied for 3 rd in all-time playoff game winning goals with 19
Tied for 14th all-time playoff plus minus leaders with a plus 42
2nd in playoff scoring in the NHL between 1994-2000 with 99 points (Sergei Fedorov had 109). This
demonstrates his playoff dominance over a period of seven consecutive seasons.
Undeniably, Claude is the NHL’s best playoff player that is not in the HHOF.
1985 World Juniors – Champions
1987 Canada Cup – Champions
1996 World Cup – Runner-up
Comparison to HHOFer Clarke Gillies
A player in the HHOF who had a very comparable career to Claude’s was Clarke Gillies. Clarke Gillies was
inducted into the HHOF in 2002, fourteen years after he retired. Coincidentally, 2017 is Claude’s 14 th year
since his retirement (except for his brief comeback with San Jose in 2009).
As noted in the table on Page 3, Claude’s and Clarke Gillies’ statistics are highly similar. One has to consider
that Clarke Gillies retired at the age of 33 while Claude played until he was 37 (actually, it was 44. He played at that age with San Jose in 2009). While Claude remained an effective NHL player throughout his career, his offensive contribution declined with age like most NHL players. If Claude had retired at age 33, his regular season points per game would have been .72; nearly identical to Clarke Gillies’ career mark of .73.
Clarke Gillies won all of his four Cups with one team (a dynasty) while Claude won his four Cups with three
Clarke Gillies played most of his career on a line with two HHOF’s in Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier.
Clarke Gillies played in an era of much higher goals per game average (3.67 goals per game per team) than
Claude did (3.16).
The most goals Clarke Gillies had in a season was 38, for Claude it was 41.
Clark Gillies never led his team in scoring. Claude has done so twice.
Clarke Gillies had six 30 goal seasons, Claude had five.
Claude won a Conn Smythe Trophy, Clarke Gillies did not.
Claude’s playoff statistics in goals and assists are far superior to Clarke Gillies’.
If Clarke Gillies is in the HHOF, it begs the question as to why Claude Lemieux is not.
I think you make some great points Craig. I believe Lemieux should be in the Hall of Fame too, and the Gillies comparison is a good one. Not to take away from Gillies at all, but if we’re going by numbers (not to mention championship rings), Claude is right there and even better than him. I’m sure we might hear from a few old Isles fans now though.
I know that Claude Lemieux did a very dirty hit on Kris Draper in 1996. I know he wasn’t the most likable guy on the ice. But he paid the price for that. It should not disqualify him from rightfully getting his due as a Hall of Famer. He was a winner, and his personal stats compare well or better to those of many others in the Hall.
I’m very excited about Mironov next season. What are the BSN teams expectations of him, and what is his ceiling?